See Why Brits Love Spain and Portugal Beaches [Slideshow]
When all you can think about is kicking your shoes off and feeling the sand in your toes, the beaches of Spain and Portugal beckon.
Whether it’s long, golden stretches of untouched beauty or vibrant resorts for people-watching and a sunset sangria or two, holiday packages to our favourite countries, as an extra bonus, are great value.
All-inclusive resorts, charming whitewashed villas and family-friendly apartments offer relaxation in the sun, for all budgets. Better still, costs for tourist items, such as dinners, drinks and transport are extra cheap this year, according to the Post Office Travel Money City Costs Barometer, especially in the Algarve and the Costa del Sol.
From popular hot spots to beaches still off the regular tourist trail, here’s a look at why Brits love Spain and Portugal.
An historic town on a lush backdrop of pine-covered hills, Sintra is all about culture and untouched stretches of spectacular, Atlantic coast. Off the sand, you’ll discover fairy-tale forests, palaces, vineyards and scrumptious seafood dining.
A perennial favourite with British sun-worshippers, Lanzarote’s beaches are intriguingly framed by volcanic landscapes. It’s always possible to find a spot on the sand to yourself, however, if you want to immerse in Canary Island action, stay in the beach resorts of Playa Blanca and Puerto del Carmen.
Costa da Caparica, Portugal
The Portuguese have long flocked to the Costa da Caparica, however it’s still relatively unknown to foreign tourists. Just a short distance from Lisbon, the beach resort is a smorgasbord of tradition, beach parties, restaurants, surfing, hiking and accommodation options.
Situated on the Western Algarve coastline, Lagos delights with an historical Moorish center, weathered cliffs, rock formations, grottos and sea caves. The surrounding region is ideal for families, with water parks, a zoo, boat trips and a range of great-value accommodation.
Crystal clear seas await in Mallorca, with beach resorts, limestone cliffs, ancient ruins and sheltered coves for safe swimming. Chic beach clubs line sandy stretches of beach, hiking opportunities abound in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range and the old town in Palma is steeped in history and charm.
A secret gem in the Algarve, Ferragudo is a traditional fishing village on the banks of the river Arade. Cobbled streets, churches, restaurants and cafes line the town, while coastal walks mean panoramic clifftop views and secluded coves for a dip in the sea.
A port city with a lively vibe, glorious sunsets and fascinating history, Gijón is a hub of action for beach-goers. It’s received a face lift over the years, with water-based activities, fantastic shopping, gastronomic delights,sports, spas and plenty of Latin music at night.
Once a sleepy fishing village, Cascais now offers tourists everything from a pedestrianised old town, designer boutiques, alfresco dining, museums, a marina and great surfing. Play a round of seaside golf, go horse riding and indulge in succuluent seafood.
Menorca, arguably the most relaxed of Spain’s stunning Balearic Islands, is a holiday heaven. White, sandy bays dot a 216km coastline, so you’ll always find a secluded spot for fun in the sun. Mix this with Bronze Age sites, coastal paths, shops, restaurants and cool, oceanfront bars for a Spanish holiday that’s all about balance and nature.